Tag Archives: Surveys

PARENTS in New Hampshire, REFUSING the Common Core Assessments UPDATE

We received a copy of this letter from a parent to her school administrators. She gave us permission to post this however we felt it was best to remove the names of the parents and their child.

The purpose of posting this is to give parents guidance on how to address the school administrators on Common Core assessment REFUSALS.

We thank parents for sharing this kind of information because it helps other parents in New Hampshire.


Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2015 10:43 AM
To: Lois Costa; Kathleen Murphy
Subject: Academic year 2015-16 *****

Dear Lois,
We are sending this email early on to be certain that SAU90 and we, ***’s parents, are all on the same page regarding all SBAC, Next Generation and any other Common Core Aligned Standardized Testing and/or non-academic questionnaires.

*** will not be participating in any of the standardized tests or questionnaires. Additionally, she will not be participating in any of the preparatory work which is designed to prepare students for the testing.

It is our expectation that she will continue to be educated and treated equally by all SAU 90 employees and its representatives. While other students are participating in prep or testing around CC Aligned tests, SAU90 or we, her parents, will provide level appropriate academic work for her. At no time should her educational time be sacrificed while other students are preparing for testing. It is also our expectation that she will never be singled out so as to be subjected to rude and hurtful comments by her peers (i.e., last year in the lunchroom).

We object to any and all non-academic questionnaires, unless we, as her parents, are given the opportunity to review them beforehand. Under no circumstance do we give permission for SAU90 or its representatives to administer non-academic, psychological, religious or sexual/transgender or bullying related questionnaires. Any and all non-academic content is to be reviewed by us before it is given to our daughter. *** is aware of our guidelines and she will politely and respectfully refuse to participate if she is put in the position, which she shouldn’t ever experience. We also expect to be given the opportunity to review the sexual education/puberty material a week in advance of it being presented.

Lastly, we understand that Google Chromebooks will be used in 5th grade for a number of subjects and or projects. Under no circumstance should ***’s fingerprints, iris scan or facial recognition be used as her login, nor should non-academic information be solicited by SAU90 or any of its or the State of NH DOE’s representatives.

We look forward to another wonderful academic and social year for ***. She loves Marston School and all of her teachers and friends. As ***’s parents, we are always available for open and honest communication regarding all aspects of our daughter’s experience at Marston School.

Thank you for your time and anticipated cooperation. We ask that this information be passed along to Mrs. Dowst, as we do not have her email address yet.


UPDATE: The parents received the following letter confirming their directives would be followed:


UPDATE: HB206 Surveys and Teaching White Privilege to NH Students

The Committee to Study Non-Academic Surveys or Questionnaires Administered by a Public School to its Students met on Weds. Sept. 1st. Below are the notes from that meeting. Please note that the next meeting is scheduled for Monday September 14th, 2015 – HB 206 Regular Meeting
LOB (Legislative Office Building behind the state house) Room 102 at 1:00pm
Subcommittee members:
Senator Kevin Avard
Representative John Balcom
Representative Barbara Shaw
Representative Kenneth Weyler
Representative Rick Ladd
Representative Mary Gile
Representative Terry Wolf

Notes from the Sept. 1st meeting:
A local school board member in NH talked about how a teacher in her district surveyed the students on highly personal questions but had the children stand up and move forward/backwards to show their answers. The teacher took pictures of the students.
She told them this is coming from either the feds/state on mandating humanities. The teacher acknowledged that this is social justice education.
There was no parental notification and not a survey you will find “online”.

Some of the questions students were asked:
Do you think you might be transgender, pansexual?
Are you related to slaves?

Children were able to see how their friends answered.
At the end of the activity, the “white/successful” children ended up in front.
This was to alert children to privileges they have. The goal was to teach, where does hate come from?

Superintendents are using a LOOPHOLE in the federal law PPRA because the surveys are “voluntary”. “It seeks to ensure that schools and contractors obtain written parental consent before minor students are required to participate in any ED-funded survey.” In other words, Superintendents like the one in Bedford said he could administer the invasive surveys WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT on children because it was “voluntary” versus “mandatory.”

The problem is that 12 year old children will often times think they are taking some kind of a test and not realize it’s something they can refuse. Young children also want to please the teacher and do not feel comfortable refusing the surveys. Parents contend that even if it’s voluntary, they have a right to see the surveys and approve/disapprove.

The Rutherford Institute was also brought up as a good source on parental rights and surveys: https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/do_parents_rights_end_at_the_schoolhouse_gate As you can see, grant funding was the objective versus parental rights:
Moreover, instead of acquiring written consent from parents, which is required under federal law, before subjecting students to these invasive surveys, MMS officials relied on so-called “passive consent,” by which parents are presumed to have given their approval if they do not return the opt-out form sent home with students. When challenged by a parent over this passive consent practice, a representative with the local social services agency administering the survey stated that the reason the “passive consent” system was adopted and why the method of obtaining consent would not be changed is that the agency needs a 98% participation rate in the survey in order to qualify for future government grants. In other words, recognizing that the participation rate would be 30% or less if a system requiring actual written parental consent were employed, test administrators adopt the fiction that a failure to respond is tantamount to parental consent in order to achieve the numbers needed to qualify for grant funding for their activities.

Remember it was Rep. Terry Wolf (R) from Bedford who opposed written consent from parents when administering surveys to students.

We hope that as the legislators move forward with this study committee, they will see the need to close the loophole in the federal law and require written parental consent. When greedy Superintendents seek to secure grant funding and purposely withhold information from parents, then it’s good for the state to step in and return local decisions to the parents.

NH Parents: Your “Parental RIGHTS” Are Under Assault Again

Parents your voices were silenced in the Senate Education Committee yesterday but you have one more opportunity to change that.

HB206 required school districts to adopt a policy regarding student participation in non-academic surveys or questionnaires. The original Bill required districts to obtain written consent from parents before they could survey your children on personal information including sexuality, drugs, alcohol, etc.

Parents from across the state wrote the committees and testified in support of this important legislation. Rep. Terry Wolf-R from Bedford watered down the language by removing written parental consent through an amendment in the House.

The watered down version passed the House and moved to the Senate Education Committee where more parents came out to support HB206 but demanded that written consent be added back.

We are sorry to report that in the Senate Education Committee, the entire Bill has been amended to a “study committee.” A study committee is where legislation goes to die.

We encourage you to scroll through one of the invasive surveys that was recently given to students in Bedford. http://www.girardatlarge.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Attitudes-Behaviors-Survey-1.pdf

The State does not have the right to walk into your home and gather information on your family without your consent. Why do they think they have the right to gather information on your family through your children without your consent?

There is still an opportunity to overturn this decision. Write your Senator and then send a copy to all of the senators (Senators@leg.state.nh.us) asking them to vote NO on the Study Committee Amendment and support an amendment that restores written consent to the original Bill.

Tell them it is their duty to uphold parental rights in New Hampshire.

Talking points:
1) VOTE NO on the AMENDMENT to send HB206 to a study Committee
2) Introduce and SUPPORT a floor Amendment that adds written consent to HB206
3) Vote to support HB206 with a floor Amendment that restores written consent
4) Their duty is to uphold our parental rights NOT undermine them

PARENTS BE WARNED: School Districts Surveying Your Children in NH

This is a recent e-mail sent to parents in Exeter, NH.  Notice that the common theme in these form letters is that you are supposed to get excited that you were “chosen” to give the Government all kinds of personal information on your child and your family.
They do NOT provide a copy of the survey
They do NOT ask your permission to survey your child.
They do NOT tell you where this information will go or how it will be used.
They do NOT tell you the privacy policy.
They do NOT tell you if this information will be sold for profit.
But you are to be “excited” about all of this.

From: “Exeter High School” <ExeterHighSchool@sau16.org>
Subject: EHS and UNH Combined Project
Date: February 13, 2015 at 8:51:02 AM EST


Good Morning-
Exeter High School is excited to announce that this semester we are partnering with the University of New Hampshire (UNH) to participate in a project that aims to promote healthy relationships among teens. This study is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and involves approximately 30 other schools in New England. We were selected to participate by researchers at UNH given our commitment to promoting healthy relationships amongst our students. As part of this project some students in the school (through Health and Physical Education classes) will participate in educational curriculum on healthy relationships and complete surveys related to peer behavior. Parents of students participating in this project will receive more information about the project with an opportunity to opt out of participation if needed. Faculty and staff will also receive resources and training related to this topic to better support our students. This is a significant opportunity for EHS and we think it will add greatly to all of the important work we are already doing to promote healthy relationships and overall safety throughout our school community.
Stay warm this weekend and help a neighbor in need.
James Tremblay
Exeter High School

After some digging around we did manage to find a copy of the survey so parents will know what kind of information is being collected.

EHS says it’s through UNH psych department and the CDC in Atlanta.  Remember we’ve posted information on the APA’s code of ethics when it comes to conducting these kinds of assessments on children.  Licensed Psychologists follow a strict code of ethics to make sure the individual (in this case, the parent since the children are under 18) is fully informed and consents.

How are parents fully informed if the School Administrator does not include a copy of the survey?  Administrators should do the “ethical” thing and also require parental consent.

This comes from a source who is participating in the distribution of the surveys:
Here is a detailed outline of what the survey questions ask:

-Demographic questions including gender identity, race/ethnicity, income, sexual attraction, and the age at which they first had intercourse.

-Attitude questions, specifically attitudes towards sexual assault and relationship abuse (e.g., do they think these types of behaviors are OK?, not a big deal in their school?)

-Attitudes towards being a positive bystander in situations of relationship abuse and sexual assault

-Personal experiences being a bystander in situations of relationship abuse and sexual assault

-Personal experiences with relationship abuse and sexual assault during the past year (e.g., has a dating partner physically pushed them or have they pushed a dating partner)

-Knowledge about sexual assault and relationship abuse (e.g., do they know how common it is, why it happens)

-Perceptions of other students and teachers attitudes towards teen sexual assault and relationship abuse (since we know that so much of students own attitudes and behaviors are shaped by the adults in their lives)

-Two screening questions for depression and alcohol misuse

Also, not all but some of our questions (demographics, personal experiences with relationship abuse and dating violence, depression and alcohol misuse) come from the CDC YRBS survey, which I believe Exeter High School participates in. Here is the link to that survey and you can actually download those surveys:http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/yrbs/questionnaire_rationale.htm

 All of the surveys are completely anonymous meaning we have no way to link specific answers to a specific person.

Now here is the reality that the people arranging the surveys continue to ignore:
In Bedford:

  1. Some parents received a notification, some did not.
  2. Some had no idea how bad the survey was until after they found out their kids had taken it.
  3. Parents didn’t have access to the actual survey to examine but a SAMPLE that didn’t contain the controversial questions on sex, drugs, etc.  They also had to look at it at the school.
  4. Students did put their names on it even though it says not to do so.
  5. Students thought it was a test and thought they had to take it.
  6. Kids put their unique pupil identifier number on the survey.
  7. When parents called in anger after they found out about the survey, they requested that their child’s survey be retrieved and destroyed.  School officials did that upon request proving the surveys were not anonymous.